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The Sound of Words: Intersections of music and writing (a writers workshop)

ENGL 435.941
instructor(s):

At the heart of poesis—the making central to all artistic creation—is the lyric. Go to any bookstore and graze the accolades on the back cover of the novels. If it’s very good, the novel will be called “poetic.” If it is very, very good, it will be called lyrical. What is this slip slide between not only genres of writing, but of the arts themselves? What sense does music capture that is said to transcend language and species, yet when sunk back down into the domain of language haunts it with another knowing? This workshop will explore the intersection of music and writing: the inherent rhythms of language, the sheer qualities of sound, and the enigmatic presence called voice. We will read and listen on both sides of the equation, music and literature, theory and practice, but mostly we will write, accumulating a portfolio of work in a variety of genres. Students will participate in weekly peer review. Revision is expected. This is a workshop that will teach all writers to write persuasively and evocatively.